Although houseplants are protected from the cold, they don’t look as cheerful during the winter months, and it can seem as if you are doing something wrong with their care. At this time of year, when there is such a shortage of light, we have to adapt to the situation and artificially regulate the vital processes of plants. Alas, this does not always go smoothly, and we have to wait for spring as deliverance.
Here are some tips to help you face the new season with a minimum of loss.
With a lack of light, the metabolism slows down, and so there is a risk that the usual amount of water for summer now the plant simply will not digest. What will too much moisture in the soil lead to? The roots, which have reduced their productivity, will experience a constant lack of air and will simply begin to rot. This environment is the best place for the development of fungal diseases, which will only make it harder to rehabilitate once the problem is detected.
Even shade-loving crops often suffer from a lack of light in winter. If possible, move all houseplants closer to the window for the winter: in cloudy weather, even such a seemingly small move will have a huge impact. The darkest windows are those with a northern orientation, so it is better to arrange a temporary “move” to eastern or southern window sills. If possible, use iron-containing preparations when watering – they stimulate the processes of photosynthesis and respiration – for example, “Ferovit”.
Humidify the air
Heating systems affect not only our skin and pets, whose fur gets electrified when stroked, but also plants. There are plenty of ways to improve the situation: household humidifiers, regular spraying of flowers, open containers of water between pots. Move particularly cranky flowers into the kitchen, where the humidity is higher by definition. If you notice that this is not enough, make a greenhouse out of a transparent bag.
Give up fertilizer
The winter season can be compared to a period of hibernation: energy for growth and development is used very sparingly. Fertilizer is not only not required now, but can be dangerous for species with a delicate root system. So it is better to postpone these activities until spring.
Don’t forget about hygiene
Undoubtedly, you need to clean your plants at any time of year, but dry air multiplies the amount of dust, which is a favorite environment for mites. Don’t forget to give your plants a shower from time to time.
Repotting and transplanting are recommended in the spring, not only because the plant will take root faster, but also because potential root system injuries will be less devastating to the plant.
Of course, it’s worth remembering that every home has different conditions: some have stronger radiators, some have large south-facing windows, and it’s not always helpful to compare your care methods with someone else’s. Even urgent transplants have their reasons and exceptions to the rules. Be attentive, and in time you will learn to determine for yourself what is needed now. After all, no one can know the needs of your plants better than you!